In this tender, nuanced coming-of-age love story, two boys—one who is cis, and one who is trans—have been guarding their hearts, until their feelings for each other give them a reason to stand up to their fears.
Two boys are starting over at a new high school.
Jules is still figuring out what it means to be gay…and just how out he wants to be.
Jack is reeling from a fall-out with his best friend…and isn’t ready to let anyone else in just yet.
When Jules and Jack meet, the sparks are undeniable. But when a video linking Jack to a pair of popular trans vloggers is leaked to the school, the revelations thrust both boys into the spotlight they’d tried to avoid.
Suddenly Jack and Jules must face a choice: to play it safe and stay under the radar, or claim their own space in the world—together.
I loved the way in which the narrative unfolds in this book. It begins with Jules’ first person perspective as he first sees Jack from a distance at a friend’s house and then meets him again at school. We get to know him and his family life—parents are divorced, and he’s starting public school for the first time in his life. He’s getting to know Jack better and then there’s an incident at school.
From there, the perspective switches to Jack, and we go back to the end of the summer when he first arrives in Los Angeles with his would-be actor father. They’re both here for a fresh start, and Jack will have the opportunity to start school as himself for the first time. As was the case with Jules’ portion, Jack’s part of the book leads up to the same incident.
The final part of the book consists of alternating chapters as both boys—and their families—deal with the incident.
Interspersed throughout the narrative are references to people named Adam and Evie. At first these interludes don’t make much sense, but eventually they do. I can’t say much more, but they add another layer of depth to the big picture.
Jack and Jules find each other at a time in which they both needed someone the most. Their initial misgivings give way to a mutual understanding, as they bond over the gulab jamun that Jack’s mom taught him to make.
I would absolutely recommend All Kinds of Other. I had a hard time putting it down because I had to find out what was going to happen next. This is a heavy story at times, but there’s always an undercurrent of hope, and that’s what kept me riveted. I’m looking forward to reading more from Sie in the future.
I received an ARC of this book from Quill Tree Books/NetGalley